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Stand tall in solidarity with the Ottawa Stilt Union

By Katie Marsh on May 8, 2013

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It’s been a season of labour unrest in Canada; first the teachers in Ontario, and then the prison guards in Alberta. Now the Ottawa Stilts Union is threatening to cause some ruckus. Yes, Ottawa has a Stilt Union, a theatre group that uses stilts, acrobatics and other forms of extreme physical action to tell their stories. They are planning their first fundraiser raiser, Karnival de Kleo, for this weekend.

A number of subversive activities and planned, including stilt try-outs, acrobatics try-outs, a music station, a crafts table, a kissing booth, and a cash bar. There will also be a performance of  Kleo’s Wake,  which was featured at SubDevision theater festival, a performance featuring eight concurrent performances specifically created for different subdivided spaces all within St. Paul’s Eastern United Church.

While the theatre company has been around since 2007, Karnival de Kleo is the union’s first fundraiser. According to Élise Gauthier, one of the troop’s members, they are hoping to get funds in order to continue developing future performances.

 “It’s very important to us that our performances remain affordable for our audiences, which is why most of our performances are “pass-the-hat”, or pay-what-you-can. However, if we want to be able to afford nice costumes, set pieces, rehearsal space, and to pay ourselves as professional artists, we need some money. In the past, we’ve been fortunate enough to receive funding from various organisations, but that’s not always enough. We have a few new plays in various stages of creation, and we’re hoping to raise enough money to allow us to continue to create.”

That creation will include a new piece for this year’s edition of SubDevision, which will be featured as part of Magnetic North. They’re also planning to perform La Toilette, a show they created last year and took to Yellowknife , as well as honing their skills at an acrobatics and handstands workshop.

Karnival de Kleo is happening this Friday, May 10th, 2013 from 7-10pm (doors open at 6:45pm) at Memorial Hall of the NECTAR Centre, 39 Dufferin Road in New Edinburgh. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and can be purchased at Neon Skates at 285 St-Patrick St in the Byward Market.